PA Consulting acted as the ‘honest-broker’ between the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Defence Industry¹ to test the Enterprise Approach, a novel way of addressing critical skills shortages. The Enterprise Approach seeks to reshape MOD’s relationship with Defence organisations with the aim of tackling critical skills shortages that threaten Defence capabilities. The approach seeks to test the relationship with these organisations and see whether it can be altered from a contractual to a collaborative one. PA’s role was instrumental in ensuring that MOD was positioned as a member of a coalition, and not unduly beneficial from this approach. Without this support, any collaboration could have been unfairly weighted towards MOD.
This project of work sought to scale an operating model, developed in an earlier phase of work, into four new skills shortage areas (Cyber, Complex Weapons, Medical, Logistics) and present policy options to develop upon in the next phase of work.
This required careful management of complex stakeholder environments, to establish a case for change and develop interventions that could address the identified causes of the skills shortages. The work was split into three sections:
- Establish a Coalition of the Willing: identify the essential players and establish the means where those who can see the potential in the Enterprise Approach can shape the solution.
- Understand whether the Enterprise Approach is something we should do: work collaboratively to build a compelling case for change that is mutually beneficial for MOD and partnering organisations.
- Understand whether the Enterprise Approach is something we could do: work with partnering organisations to test and mature the operating model, understand what it would take to implement it, and assess what it would take to make people ready for the change.
Interventions were assessed and tested for cost and benefit which allowed the team to present a vision for the future in each case study, and a road map to achieving this in the next phase of work.
This work has provided MOD a clear forward agenda and outline of work for the next phase of activity. PA has created an environment where this work is not only supported by a wide range of Industry participants, but genuinely owned by all. Ensuring all are active members of a joint solution to current and future workforce challenges.